Delhi HC Issues Directions for Notice of Appearance before Police Officer


April 24, 2018

Case name: Amardeep Singh Johar v. State of NCT of Delhi

In the case, the seminal issue pertained to Section 41A of Code of Criminal Procedure Code. The Petitioner’s grievance in the case inspite of several documents tendered by him during proceedings before the Crime against Women Cell, no receipt had been given to the petitioner and these documents having a critical bearing on the case were not made part of the record by the police. Thus, the Petitioner alleged that he had no material or evidence to support his contention that he had regularly joined investigation and also that he had tendered several documents which manifested that he was innocent in the case.

Hence, the intrinsic issue being that statutory requirement as enumerated under Section 41A of Code of Criminal Procedure was not duly followed by the Police Officers in the case. Section 41A of the CrPC provides for notice of appearance before Police Officer. It states that the police officer shall issue a notice directing the person against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, or a reasonable suspicion exists that he has committed a cognizable offence, to appear before him or at such other place as may be specified in the notice.

The Delhi High Court noted that the issues raised by the petitioner were of seminal importance and impact the working of the Delhi Police and the rights of all persons who are called for enquiries or whose conduct is the subject matter of investigation at the hands of the police.

Taking a serious note of the alleged prevailing situation, the Delhi High Court in order to curb such cases issued following directions for the working of Section 41A and directed that the following procedure should be strictly followed by the police in Delhi:

  • Police officers should be mandatorily required to issue notices under Section 41A CrPC (in the prescribed format) formally to be served in the manner and in accordance with the terms of the provisions contained in Chapter VI of the Code.
  • The concerned suspect / accused person will necessarily need to comply with the terms of the notice under section 41 A and attend at the requisite time and place.
  • Should the accused be unable to attend at the time for any valid and justifiable reason, the accused should in writing immediately, intimate the investigating officer and seek an alternative time within a reasonable period, which should ideally not accede a period of four working days, from the date on which he / she were required to attend, unless he is unable to show justifiable cause for such non-attendance.
  • Unless it is detrimental to the investigation, the police officer may permit such rescheduling, however only for justifiable causes to be recorded in the case diary. Should the investigating officer believe that such extension is being sought to cause delay to the investigation or the suspect / accused person is being evasive by seeking time, (subject to intimation to the SHO / SP of the concerned Police Station), deny such request and mandatorily require the said person to attend.
  • A suspect / accused on formally receiving a notice under section 41A CrPC and appearing before the concerned officer for investigation / interrogation at the police station, may request the concerned IO for an acknowledgement;
  • In the event, the suspect / accused is directed to appear at a place other than the police station (as envisaged under Section 41A(1)CrPC), the suspect will be at liberty to get the acknowledgement receipt attested by an independent witness if available at the spot in addition to getting the same attested by the concerned investigating officer himself.
  • A duly indexed booklet containing serially numbered notices in duplicate / carbon copy format should be issued by the SHO of the Police Station to the Investigating Officer. The Notice should necessarily contain the following details: a Serial Number b Case Number c Date and time of appearance d Consequences in the event of failure to comply e Acknowledgment slip.
  • The Investigating Officer shall follow the following procedure:-
  1. The original is served on the Accused/Suspect;
  2. A carbon copy (on white paper) is retained by the IO in his / her case diary, which can be shown to the concerned Magistrate as and when required;
  3. Used booklets are to be deposited by the IO with the SHO of the Police Station who shall retain the same till the completion of the investigation and submission of the final report under section 173 (2) of the Cr.P.C.
  4. The Police department shall frame appropriate rules for the preservation and destruction of such booklets
  • Procedure booklets in format identical to the above prescription in guideline (vii) & (viii) with modifications having regard to the statutory provisions in the forms for the notices and acknowledgment shall be maintained.
  • Failure on the part of the IO to comply with the mandate of the provisions of the Cr.P.C and the above procedure shall render him liable to appropriate disciplinary proceedings under the applicable rules and regulations as well as contempt of Court in terms of the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Arnesh Kumar Vs. State of Bihar (2014) 8 SCC 273.
  • Publicity should be undertaken and pamphlets educating the public at large, should be issued by the DCP of all Districts.
  • The above information should be displayed at prominent places in Police stations, the subordinate courts and the High Court and made available to with the State and District Legal Services Authorities, to inform the public of their rights and recourses available to them.
  • Training programmes be specially formulated for Police Officers and Judicial Officers to sensitize them towards effective compliance of Section 41A, 91, 160 and 175 of the CrPC.

The entire case can be accessed here.

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Shilpi Sharan

- Shilpi Sharan is the Editor at Vakilno1.com - an Advocate with extensive knowledge in myriad fields of Law. She has a flair of writing and has legal publications in national and international law magazines to her credit. She focuses on legal research and aims at raising public awareness of laws in India.